Animal Reproduction (AR)
Animal Reproduction (AR)

Pharmacological semen collection in domestic and wild canids and felids: literature review

Jeandson da Silva Carneiro; Tathiana Ferguson Motheo

Downloads: 0
Views: 156


Abstract: Semen collection methods vary greatly and rely on the practitioner's expertise, available materials, and the specific behavioral traits of the male animals involved. When it comes to domestic cats, wild felids, and canids, semen collection is particularly challenging. Thus, given the difficulty of semen collection in these species, pharmacological semen collection (PSC) stands out since it is a quick and straightforward method that does not require specific equipment. The PSC consists of administering α2-adrenergic receptor agonist drugs, mainly medetomidine, and dexmedetomidine, aiming semen release into the urethra with posterior urethral catheterization and sperm recovery. This technique was primarily described in domestic cats and wild felids, and despite the decreased seminal volume, the retrieved semen is highly concentrated and presents good quality. However, further studies are required to optimize semen collection in domestic dogs and wild canids. Therefore, the purpose of this review is to provide a comprehensive overview of the research developed on pharmacological semen collection (PSC) in the past few decades. The objective is to equip professionals with the essential knowledge required for the efficient application of this technique in both domestic and wild canids and felids and to make a valuable contribution to conservation efforts and the preservation of biodiversity, aligning with the principles of One Conservation.


α2 adrenergic agonists, electroejaculation, reproduction, conservation


Araújo GR, Jorge-Neto PN, Csemark-Junior AC, Pizzutto CS, Luczinski TC, Deco-Souza T. Avanços na andrologia de grandes felinos neotropicais. In: Anais do XXIV Congresso Brasileiro de Reprodução Animal (CBRA-2021) e VIII International Symposium on Animal Biology of Reproduction; 2021 Oct 19-22; Belo Horizonte, MG. Belo Horizonte: CBRA; 2021. p. 219-28.

Araujo GR, Paula TAR, Deco-souza T, Morato RG, Bergo LCF, Silva LCD, Costa DS, Braud C. Comparison of semen samples collected from wild and captive jaguars (Panthera onca) by urethral catheterization after pharmacological induction. Anim Reprod Sci. 2018;195:1-7. PMid:29935916.

Araujo GR, Paula TAR, Deco-Souza T, Morato RG, Bergo LCF, Silva LC, Jorge-Neto PN, Sampaio BFB. Colheita farmacológica de sêmen de onças-pardas (Puma concolor: Mammalia: Carnivora: Felidae). Arq Bras Med Vet Zootec. 2020;72(02):437-42.

Carvalho ER, Champion T, Ambrosini F, Silva GA, Freitas GC, Vilani RGDC. Dexmedetomidine low dose followed by constant rate infusion and antagonism by atipamezole in isoflurane-anesthetized cats: an echocardiographic study. Vet Anaesth Analg. 2019;46(1):43-54. PMid:30420257.

Cunto M, Küster DG, Bini C, Cartolano C, Pietra M, Zambelli D. Influence of different protocols of urethral catheterization after pharmacological induction (Ur.Ca.P.I.) on semen quality in the domestic cat. Reprod Domest Anim. 2015;50(6):999-1002. PMid:26482317.

Diggelmann AR, Baron Toaldo M, Bektas RN, Furthner E, Reichler IM, Kutter APN. Atipamezole reverses cardiovascular changes induced by high-dose medetomidine in cats undergoing sedation for semen collection. Animals (Basel). 2023;13(12):1909. PMid:37370419.

Estrela DC, Mendes BO, Malafaia G, Martinez AC, Paulino JS, Adania CH, Moreira N. Collection and evaluation of semen collected from jaguarundi (Puma yagouaroundi) through urethral catheterization and electroejaculation. Theriogenology Wild. 2023;2(4):100040.

Filliers M, Rijsselaere T, Bossaert P, Zambelli D, Anastasi P, Hoogewijs M, Van Soom A. In vitro evaluation of fresh sperm quality in Tomcats: a comparison of two collection techniques. Theriogenology. 2010;74(1):31-9. PMid:20219239.

Franklin AD, Waddell WT, Goodrowe KL. Red wolf (Canis rufus) sperm quality and quantity is affected by semen collection method, extender components, and post-thaw holding temperature. Theriogenology. 2018;116:41-8. PMid:29777963.

Gerresheim G, Schwemmer U. Dexmedetomidin. Anaesthesist. 2013;62(8):661-74.

González R, Miller A, Vansandt LM, Swanson WF. Characterization of basal seminal traits and semen cryopreservation in Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis). Theriogenology Wild. 2023;2:100026.

Hidalgo MMT, Almeida ABM, Silva LAS, Greghi JR, Silva VW, Sambatti NR, Trautwein LGC, Martins MIM. Comparison of two pharmacological semen collection times with α2-adrenergic agonist in domestic cats. Reprod Domest Anim. 2023;58(9):1207-13. PMid:37386933.

Iglesias GA, Bento HJ, Kuczmarski AH, Costa TLC, Ribeiro J, Pimentel S, Paulino JS, Adania CH, Paz RCR. Coleta de sêmen em Leopardus guttulus pelo método do cateterismo uretral. Arq Bras Med Vet Zootec. 2020;72(03):836-42.

Jeong DH, Kim JH, Na KJ. Characterization and cryopreservation of Amur leopard cats (Prionailurus bengalensis euptilurus) semen collected by urethral catheterization. Theriogenology. 2018;119:91-5. PMid:29982141.

Jorge-Neto PN, Araújo GR, Deco-Souza T, Bittencourt RF, Csemark-Junior AC, Pizzutto CS, Silva MCC, Salomão-Junior JA, Madrigal-Valverde M, Curvelo VP, Gomes MC, Paula TAR. Pharmacological semen collection of Brazilian wild felids. In: Anais do XXIII Congresso Brasileiro de Reprodução Animal [Internet]; 2019 May 15-17; Gramado, RS. Belo Horizonte: CBRA; 2019 [cited 2023 Mar 10]. p. 704. Available from:

Jorge-Neto PN, Luczinski TC, Araújo GR, Requena LA, Jesus RS, Souza LSB, Zanella R, Costa e Silva EV, Deco-Souza T, Pizzutto CS. Cryopreservation of jaguar (Panthera onca) sperm cells using different cryoprotectants and different thawing temperatures. Anim Reprod. 2023;20(1):e20230009. PMid:37034116.

Jorge-Neto PN, Silva MCC, Csemark-Junior AC, Salomão-Junior JA, Araújo GR, Oliveira G, Leuzinger L, Pizzutto CS, Deco-Souza T. Cryptorchidism in free-living jaguar (Panthera onca): first case report. Anim Reprod. 2020;17(4):e20200555. PMid:33791034.

Julião GH, Abimussi CJX. Uso de dexmedetomidina em Medicina Veterinária: revisão de literatura. Revista MV&Z. 2019;17(1):26-32.

Kheirkhah MS, Mollapour Sisakht M, Mohammadsadegh M, Moslemi HR. Sperm evaluation of Jungle Cat (Felis chaus) obtained by urethral catheterization (CT) after medetomidine administration. Theriogenology. 2017;91:17-20. PMid:28215681.

Kuczmarski AH, Alves de Barros M, Souza de Lima LF, Motheo TF, Bento HJ, Iglesias GA, Sônego DA, Rodrigues da Paz RC. Urethral catheterization after pharmacological induction for semen collection in dog. Theriogenology. 2020;153:34-8. PMid:32417609.

Kutzler MA. Semen collection in the dog. Theriogenology. 2005;64(3):747-54. PMid:15993482.

Luczinski TC, Araujo GR, Silveira MF, Kirnew MD, Navarrete RA, Salomão-Jr JA, Requena LA, Santos JAMD, Koshiyama MH, Pizzutto CS, Jorge-Neto PN. Medetomidine may cause heart murmur in Cougars and Jaguars: case report. J Threat Taxa. 2020;12(14):17000-2.

Lueders I, Luther I, Müller K, Scheepers G, Tordiffe A, Van der Horst G. Semen collection via urethral catheter in exotic feline and canine species: a simple alternative to electroejaculation. Proc Int Conf Dis Zoo Wild Anim. 2013:161-63.

Lueders I, Luther I, Scheepers G, Van Der Horst G. Improved semen collection method for wild felids: urethral catheterization yields high sperm quality in African lions (Panthera leo). Theriogenology. 2012;78(3):696-701. PMid:22538007.

Madrigal-Valverde M, Bittencourt RF, Ribeiro Filho AD, Barbosa VF, Vieira CA, Romão EA, Carneiro IB, Azevedo MC, Araujo GR. Quality of domestic cat semen collected by urethral catheterization after the use of different alpha 2-adrenergic agonists. J Feline Med Surg. 2021;23(8):745-50. PMid:33206029.

Pizzutto CS, Araújo GR, Csemark-Jr AC, Jorge-Neto PN, Luczinski TC, Deco-Souza T. Uma visão integrada das biotecnologias reprodutivas com o conceito de one conservation. Rev Bras Reprodução Anim. 2021b;45:241-5.

Pizzutto CS, Colbachini H, Jorge-Neto PN. One Conservation: the integrated view of biodiversity conservation. Anim Reprod. 2021a;18(2):e20210024. PMid:34122656.

Prochowska S, Niżański W, Ochota M, Partyka A. Characteristics of urethral and epididymal semen collected from domestic cats--A retrospective study of 214 cases. Theriogenology. 2015;84(9):1565-71. PMid:26359850.

Prochowska S, Niżański W, Partyka A. Comparative analysis of in vitro characteristics of fresh and frozen-thawed urethral and epididymal spermatozoa from cats (Felis domesticus). Theriogenology. 2016;86(8):2063-72. PMid:27501869.

Prochowska S, Niżański W, Snoeck F, Wydooghe E, Van Soom A, Kochan J, Stefanyk V. How can we introduce ART into wild felid conservation in practice? Joint experience in semen collection from captive wild felids in Europe. Animals (Basel). 2022;12(7):871. PMid:35405860.

Prochowska S, Niżański W. In vitro fertilizing potential of urethral and epididymal spermatozoa collected from domestic cats (Felis catus). Pol J Vet Sci. 2017;20(1):19-24. PMid:28525327.

Romagnoli N, Lambertini C, Zambelli D, Cunto M, Ballotta G, Barbarossa A. Plasma concentration rise after the intramuscular administration of high dose medetomidine (0.13 mg/kg) for semen collection in cats. Vet Sci. 2020;7(1):17. PMid:32028578.

Romagnoli N, Zambelli D, Cunto M, Lambertini C, Ventrella D, Baron Toaldo M. Non-invasive evaluation of the haemodynamic effects of high-dose medetomidine in healthy cats for semen collection. J Feline Med Surg. 2016;18(4):337-43. PMid:25944580.

Silva MCC, Jorge-Neto PN, Miranda GM, Csemark-Junior AC, Zanella R, Pizzutto CS, Colbachini H, Silva AR, Araújo GR, Deco-Souza T. Reproductive parameters of male crab-eating foxes (Cerdocyon thous) subjected to pharmacological semen collection by urethral catheterization. Theriogenology Wild. 2022;1:100004.

Silva MCC, Ullony KM, Araújo GR, Jorge-Neto PN, Albuquerque VB, Caramalac SM, Oliveira AR, Zanella R, Marques MG, Csemark-Junior AC, Luczinski TC, Frazílio FO, Costa e Silva EV, Deco-Souza T. Can detomidine replace medetomidine for pharmacological semen collection in domestic cats? Anim Reprod. 2021;18(2):e20210017. PMid:34249155.

Swanson WF, Bateman HL, Vansandt LM. Urethral catheterization and sperm vitrification for simplified semen banking in felids. Reprod Domest Anim. 2017;52(Suppl 2):255-60. PMid:27807883.

Virtanen R, Savola JM, Saano V, Nyman L. Characterization of the selectivity, specificity and potency of medetomidine as an alpha 2-adrenoceptor agonist. Eur J Pharmacol. 1988;150(1-2):9-14. PMid:2900154.

Zambelli D, Cunto M. Semen collection in cats: techniques and analysis. Theriogenology. 2006;66(2):159-65. PMid:16527340.

Zambelli D, Prati F, Cunto M, Iacono E, Merlo B. Quality and in vitro fertilizing ability of cryopreserved cat spermatozoa obtained by urethral catheterization after medetomidine administration. Theriogenology. 2008;69(4):485-90. PMid:18082880.

Zambelli D, Raccagni R, Cunto M, Andreani G, Isani G. Sperm evaluation and biochemical characterization of cat seminal plasma collected by electroejaculation and urethral catheterization. Theriogenology. 2010;74(8):1396-402. PMid:20728925.

Submitted date:

Accepted date:

65b9051ea95395413513b092 animreprod Articles
Links & Downloads

Anim Reprod

Share this page
Page Sections